Michigan State Football: 5 upperclassmen poised for 2018 breakout

Michigan State Spartans. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Michigan State Spartans. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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Michigan State football has a number of upperclassmen who are poised for breakout seasons in 2018, but who tops the list?

Can you believe we are less than 60 days to the start of the 2018 season? Michigan State is coming off a 10-3 campaign which was capped off with a Holiday Bowl win over Washington State and it’s aiming to reach the College Football Playoff for the second time ever.

Mark Dantonio brings back all but three starters and his incoming freshman class is one of the best he’s had since taking the reigns in East Lansing.

The expectations are at an all-time high for the Spartans in 2018, comparable to those after the 2013 season. If the Spartans are going to take flight this season, it’ll be up to the upperclassmen to lead the way for the talented younger crop of players.

Which five upperclassmen could finally break out in 2018?

The talk of the early offseason was Justice Alexander. The former three-star defensive end from Macedonia, Ohio, was listed as one of the players to watch for and everyone knew he had the potential to break into that starting rotation.

With a thin defensive line and not much depth at the position in which he plays, Alexander could have a major impact for the Spartans in his junior campaign.

Jacub Panasiuk and Kenny Willekes look like the starters right now, but don’t be surprised if Alexander breaks into that mix with a strong summer camp. He already has the size at 6-5, 257 pounds and he’s athletic enough to play like a Shilique Calhoun-type, but needs to put it all together and live up to his potential.

We could be hearing a lot more about this kid soon.